BOSTON (AP) - Kansas City manager Ned Yost thought he made the right move by bringing in left-hander Scott Downs to pitch in the sixth inning.
He was wrong.
Right-handed hitting Jonny Gomes pinch hit for lefty Jackie Bradley Jr. and hit a go-ahead two-run homer that lifted the Boston Red Sox to a 5-4 win over the Royals on Friday night.
“We had enough runs to win if I’d managed the pitching right,” Yost said. “I should have stuck with (James) Shields. He was at 111 pitches and Bradley was 0 for 2 against him. I just outsmarted myself.”
Shields, who gave up a two-run homer to Xander Bogaerts earlier in the inning, disagreed.
“I didn’t think it was a bad move,” he said. “I didn’t do my job of getting outs.”
Gomes’ shot into the center field bleachers left him one pinch-hit homer behind the Red Sox all-time leader. And he wanted to make it clear that there was no comparison.
“You can go ahead and get it out there,” he said with a little grin. “I’m not chasing any of Ted Williams’ records.”
In two seasons with the Red Sox, six of Gomes’ 19 homers have come as a pinch hitter.
“For me, that’s the opportunity I feast on,” the right-handed hitting platoon outfielder said. “I hope I didn’t shock anyone.”
Yost was somewhat surprised to see Gomes come up.
“I gambled and lost,” he said. “They’ve pinch hit one time in the last three games in the seventh inning, a bunch in the eighth and ninth. I wasn’t sure if they were going to do it in the sixth, so I gambled right there. Bad decision.”
The Red Sox maintained their momentum after winning four of their last five games before the All-Star game. They entered the break in last place in the AL East but were coming off Clay Buchholz’s 11-0 complete-game win over Houston, their season high for runs.
“The way that guys fought back tonight that was sort of reminiscent of last year” when the Red Sox won the World Series, Buchholz said.
Buchholz (5-5) allowed four runs in six innings against Kansas City. Koji Uehara allowed Omar Infante’s two-out double in the ninth, but got his 19th save in 21 chances.